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Denver, CO, October 21, 2013 … Scott Levin, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Mountain States Regional Office, today issued the following statement on anti-Israel ads that are scheduled to appear on Regional Transportation District (RTD) light rail cars and 16th Street Mall shuttle buses through November 11, 2013, during which time the Jewish National Fund’s 2013 National Conference will be held in Denver:

We are deeply disturbed by ads that falsely accuse Israel of “ethnic cleansing” that have appeared on RTD light rail trains and buses.  These ads, placed by anti-Israel groups, are part of a larger campaign to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish state.

While we believe that the ads are a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, we strongly object to their offensive message. Ads like these are inaccurate, inflammatory, and divisive.  They do nothing to advance peace.

 

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

 

 

  • Mtookah

    Ethnic Cleansing? Look to Syria.

  • Joe

    That’s a very wimpy response. Advertising is limited free speech – its commercial speech. If it is slanderous and wrong, the public transit can refuse to accept it. ADL should be lobbying the public agency to refuse the advertising.

    • Karin Friedemann

      ADL is constantly lobbying everyone. Most of us are getting kind a sick of it.

  • Mtookah

    Contact the RTD Board and ask them to remove these ads. This not an free speech issue, These are inflammatory false advertisements. The Toronto Transportation District rejected these same ads for the same reasons. There is no reason why RTD can’t do the same. RTD is not obligated to be the courier of hate. http://www.rtd-denver.com/BoardDirectors.shtml#districtC

  • Mtookah

    I just had a very nice conversation with one of the RTD Board members. They are addressing this.

    • Penny

      Yes. They will address it but let the ads run through Nov 11. This needs to be stopped now.

  • michael caldwell

    If they don’t address it properly, we should begin a boycott of the RTD. It our right of “Free Commerce.”

  • Mtookah

    The least RTD can do it take these buses/trains out of service while JNF is here

    • Karin Friedemann

      Imagine a world without “Israel.” It would truly be a world without hate.

  • Mtookah

    I would like to ask everyone who to email Rep. Dan Pabon from House District 4 (NW Denver) for his letter to RTD expressing his concern over this matter . Dan is a strong supporter of Israel, a real mench and friend to the Jewish Community. dan.pabon.house@state.co.us here is the content of his letter.

    October 25, 2013

    Honorable Lorraine Anderson

    Chair, Regional Transportation District Board

    1600 Blake Street

    Denver, Colorado 80202

    Re: Anti-Semitic Bus Ads

    Dear Ms. Anderson:

    Ads have recently appeared on various RTD buses accusing the
    State of Israel of ethnic cleansing in Palestine. Equating the actions of the State of Israel
    to those of Slobodan Milošević is inaccurate and borders on
    anti-Semitic hate speech. A constituent pointed out these ads to me and also
    noted the negative and offensive light they cast both RTD and Denver in.

    Setting free speech aside, which I fully support, I question
    whether or not these groups have the right to voice their hateful opinions on
    public transportation that is subsidized by taxpayers.

    I would ask that RTD review its advertising standards and
    policies and determine if the ads in question meet those standards. If the ads
    are not in conformity with those standards and policies they should be removed
    immediately. If RTD does not have any
    such standards, I would demand immediately that RTD adopt standards that would
    prevent this hate speech in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Dan Pabon

    State Representative

    • Karin Friedemann

      Hopefully NO One will ever vote for that shmuck again.

    • Mtookah

      Karin… you poor soul. At least Dan Pabon, as many of my elected representatives whom I’ve been in contact with, agree with him. If you don’t like his stance, come move to HD4 and run for office. And looking at your profile.. I see you only have 2 followers… so good luck with that. It’s so sad that you hate yourself so much to post the things that you do, – “a world without hate” – truly sad.

  • Marshalldoc

    I think the best way to address the charge of ‘ethnic cleansing’ would be for Israel to stop its ethnic cleansing of Israeli Bedouins from areas the Israeli Jews covet. See? Simple.

  • Penny

    Just tell me where the demonstration is being held. RTD needs to be boycotted right now for even allowing these ads on the buses in the first place. Can anyone stop this?

  • Mtookah

    FYI Both of my state legislators from HD4 and SD34 have contacted the RTD regarding this matter. Thank you to Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Lucia Guzman for their support and wisdom.

  • Ero

    King County Washington (City of Seattle) established a precedent in US District Court to remove anti-Israel propaganda from their transit system. Why is the Denver ADL not taking this precedent and running with it?
    Here is the court case decision: http://annarborchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/SeaMacACLUcase.pdf

  • Karin Friedemann

    Pretty sad that they are not “disturbed”by the sick sad murderous behavior of Israel, but they are more “disturbed” by the fact that people mentioned it. Well, they’ll have to get used to it!

  • janbn

    The ads are more than appropriate. Right now Israel is planning to ethnically cleanse some 40,000 Bedouins, all Israeli citizens, from their homes in the Negev so that the Jewish National Fund can build new settlements for Jews only. If this isn’t apartheid and racism and I don’t know what is. Why doesn’t the ADL take on the despicible Prawer plan passed by the Knesset that is allowing this travesty to take place. But of couse the ADL won’t say anything because to the ADL if Israel does it is must be OK. Shame. Shame on Israel, Shame on the ADL and Shame on the JNF.

  • Sam_Holloway

    When you find the truth offensive, the problem can be found in the nearest mirror. Israel is an apartheid state founded on terrorism and injustice, and it continues to expand through much the same. There is no more accurate term for Israeli policy toward the Palestinians than ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Work to change it, or live with it. Attacking the messenger won’t change the reality.

    • Mtookah

      All BS! Israel is the only true Democratic state in the middle east. All of her citizens live freely including Palestinian-Arab Israeli citizens in all aspects of Israeli society:

      Judge George Karra, Israeli-Palestinian Arab Christian – a nominee for the Israeli Supreme court – in 2011, justice Karra presided over the corruption trial of former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, that resulted in the conviction Mr. Katsav that sent him to prison.

      Lina Makhoul, an Israeli-Palestinian Arab Christian from Acre (next to Haifa) – was the 2013 winner of Israel’s version of the TV Song Competition show of The Voice http://www.haaretz.com/

      Abbas Suan is an Israeli-Palestinian Arab MUSLIM Soccer player who became a national hero in 2006 for scoring the game-tying goal in the 90th minute of a World Cup qualifying match against Ireland. He plays on the Maccabi Haifa I team in Israel.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbas_Suan

      These are but a few examples of Arab/Palestinians who live openly, freely, and equally.

      Hardly the image of “Ethnic Cleansing” as portrayed in by the false ads on the RTD Buses.

      RTD does not have to accept all ads presented to them… as a public taxpayer funded quasi-governmental body, RTD doesn’t have to be the courier of spreading messages of inflammatory hatred, and canards.

      These ads started a week ago, and after my communications with the RTD Board of Directors, my state legislators and Denver Elected Officials, they are all in agreement that Israel hardly equates with Slobadan Melosevic, Ethnic Cleansing, or Apartheid.

  • Peter Racy

    See The New Yorker article on Ethnic cleansing
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/10/21/131021fa_fact_shavit
    and its letters
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/letters/2013/11/04/131104mama_mail

    Then tell me why Zionism is not racism

  • Mtookah

    I would not want to board any bus that had such advertising for my own safety. What would happen if an argument ensued between passengers on the one of these buses or trains who had opposing views of such a volatile nature.

    • Sam_Holloway

      You could mediate.